Copper River Record March 12, 2020
By Robin Mayo
This time of year, it’s easy to get stuck in the doldrums and imagine that breakup and summer just cannot come soon enough. Instead, why not celebrate the season for the miracle that it is—all the good aspects of winter supplemented by a whole lot more warmth and light. It’s the perfect time to get outdoors, soak in that incredible sunshine bouncing off the snow, and enjoy nature as it wakes up.
WISE would like to invite you to join us for a favorite spring ritual, Family Ice Fishing Day! For 11 years now we have been teaming up with BLM for this event. It is always the first Saturday in April, the same day as the annual Chitina Ice Fishing Derby organized by Uncle Tom’s Tavern in Chitina.
Family Ice Fishing Day 2020 will be Saturday, April 4th, from 10am to 3pm at Silver Lake, Mile 10ish on the McCarthy Road. Everyone is welcome, and we especially invite beginners who would like to try out the sport but may not have all the gear, or could use some tips from experts. We will have holes already drilled in the ice, equipment to loan including rods, scoops, buckets, and bait. Hot drinks and lunch will also be available. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted to help support this event and our other education programs.
Plan to park on the McCarthy Road and walk about a quarter mile down to the lake. There will be signs to follow. Ice fishing involves patiently sitting still and it can be chilly on the ice, so plenty of warm layers are recommended. Other items you may want are ice cleats for your boots, folding chairs or pads to sit on, a reusable mug or water bottle to help us reduce trash, bags to take home your fish, and a sled to shuttle your gear and tired kids. Those 18 and older (and non-residents of Alaska 16 and older) need to have a fishing license. If you to bring your dog, please plan to keep it on a leash.
Silver Lake is known for wonderful rainbow trout fishing. This year we are focusing on how to best enjoy the eating as well as the catching. We will have demonstrations on cleaning and filleting, recipe suggestions, and a chance to try some freshly cooked trout. The BLM crew will bring an under-ice camera to give a peek into the aquatic world.
As always, we will be awarding prizes to kids! As well as recognizing the anglers who catch the biggest fish, awards go to youth who have great attitudes, help out, and inspire us with their enthusiasm.
Your fish can then be entered in the Chitina Ice Fishing Derby, which welcomes fish caught that day from all area lakes. Fish need to be presented for weighing at Uncle Tom’s Tavern in Chitina by 5pm. The top prize is a power auger! They will be providing “grilled protein” for the community dinner that follows, and ask everyone to bring potluck side dishes or desserts.
For more information on WISE/BLM Family Ice Fishing Day, check the website (www.wise-edu.org) and Facebook page, or call the office at 822-3575. If you have questions about the Chitina Ice Fishing Derby, you can call Uncle Tom’s Tavern at 823-4040, or awesome organizer Beth at 823-4040.
Photo Courtesy of WISE: Kenton, Russ, and Joella Scribner caught this big rainbow last year.
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.